Ache-Free Grooming

Dog Grooming for Senior Pet Owners by Jessica Brody

Owning a pet can be a true joy, but grooming them can be a real pain — especially if you have achy joints and a cramping back. There are several revolutionary tools and products on the market to make pet grooming easier. This way, you can bond with your dog, and you won’t have to break the bank to pay a groomer.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Trimming Nails

The PediPaw was a late night TV sensation, and it was quickly adopted by most popular department stores as an item to keep on the shelves. There is good reason for that! If arthritic fingers make it painful for you to squeeze a typical nail trimmer to clip your dog’s claws, then the PediPaw may be exactly the tool you need to make this a manageable task. Instead of repeatedly squeezing nail trimmers to clip your dog’s claws, you flip a switch to start a spinning head at the end of a grooming wand, and gently file your pet’s nails. It’s less painful for both owner and dog!

Brushing Fur

Brushing a dog’s fur while watching a favorite soap opera or sitcom is the perfect way to bond, but cleaning out the brush can be difficult for stiff, arthritic fingers. The brushing can’t be left undone, or there will be little tufts of fur littered throughout the house, and the fur has to be removed from the brush for effective grooming. This problem is easily solved with tools like the FURminator from PetSmart. This clever piece of ingenuity lets you remove the hair from the brush with the push of a button. When the button is pressed, the fur is pushed from the bristles, and can be easily deposited into the trash!

Brushing Teeth

A dog’s teeth often go unmanaged, which can lead to gingivitis and tooth decay. Still, it’s difficult for many owners to justify wrestling with their dog to shove a toothbrush across their teeth even once a day. Try using chew toys like Greenies to passively manage doggie dental needs.


Dogs need baths — it’s just a fact of dog ownership. Leaning over the side of the bathtub isn’t easy on the best of days, but if back cramps are a plague for you, then it’s almost impossible to keep Fido clean. Obviously small dogs can be bathed in the kitchen sink. Alternatively, a dry dog shampoo may work. Many pet owners simply rub their animals down with baking soda when their coats need a bit of freshening. If a dog really needs a good soaking, try bathing her outside or with a detachable shower head to avoid the need to lean over the tub.

What to do when grooming can’t be done at home

If it arises that an owner can no longer easily groom their pet, there are options available to delegate these tasks. Ask local youth if they would like to earn extra money by bathing your pet. Most veterinarians and pet stores offer a claw-trimming service at a reasonable rate, and veterinarians can also manage dental cleanings as a part of your dog’s preventive care. Local pet stores also frequently offer services to trim fur and provide baths for owners who are unable to do this on their own. If you have a service dog, the organization who provided her to you may be able to help with her pet grooming needs, or may be associated with a local vet or groomer who can provide grooming services to you for little or no cost.

If you are seeking care solutions for yourself, research nursing homes in your area that are pet-friendly. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to consider rehoming your pet. If this is the case, consider asking a friend, neighbor, or family member to adopt your pet. This way, you can still visit her frequently. If this is not an option, call local assisted living facilities, nursing homes and animals shelters to see if your pet could become a therapy pet for another senior.

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